CORPUS CHRISTI – Russell Vaughan delivered a walk-off RBI single to score Jordan Lee in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team to a 3-2 victory over Houston-Victoria on Tuesday night. It marked the fifth straight victory for the Islanders.
Brandon Tierney continued his red-hot hitting for A&M-Corpus Christi (23-19), going 2-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run in the victory. Dylan Blaha, Joshua Boothe and Robert Gleinser each had two hits in a losing effort for UHV (19-27). Kevin Landgrebe picked up the win for the Islanders, while Andre Del Bosque was carded with the loss.
UHV took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Gleinser started the inning with a single, rolling the ball through the right side and moving to second on a stolen base. A sacrifice moved him to third, and Ryan Suescun followed by grounding a ball right back at Dalton D'Spain and it ricocheted off the pitcher for an RBI infield single. But D'Spain rallied, getting the final two batters to strikeout to keep the damage to one.
Strong pitching on both sides kept it that way until the bottom of the sixth, when the Islanders were able to manufacture a run to tie the score 1-1. Cody Stephens led off the inning with a double to right field, and Frankie Salas followed with a popout. At that juncture, pitcher Cory Carter got into trouble, hitting Tierney and walking Tyler Ware to load the bags. He rebounded to strike out Kyle Danford, but pinch-hitter Jordan Lee drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. UHV called upon Nathan Falkenstine, and the righty got out of the jam by striking out Dawson Yates.
Meanwhile, the bullpen continued to roll for the Islanders. Kaleb Keith scattered three hits in his two innings of work, striking out three, and AJ Flores had a strong outing, allowing three hits over his three innings, working his way out of a two on, no out game in the top of the eighth to keep it a 1-1 score.
Tierney then came up with more heroics, ripping a tailing line drive to center. Ryan Pearsall took a step in, then headed back and saw the ball carry over his outstretched glove all the way to the wall. Tierney raced around second, lumbered around third and slid in just in front of the tag for an inside-the-park home run, his third homer in the last three games, to make it 2-1.
The Jaguars got a run back in the top of the ninth, though, as Gleinser got things started with a leadoff single. Cory Hulsey then pinch-ran, and moved to second on a sac bunt, then advanced to third on a stolen base. With the infield in, Suescun grounded a ball to first, and Hulsey held, but Suescun avoided the tag to put runners at the corners and one away. Landgrebe got the second out by throwing out Hulsey at the plate, but a walk loaded the bases and Suescun came in on a passed ball to tie the score. That set up Vaughan's heroics in the bottom of the ninth.
The Islanders are back at Chapman Field over the weekend, as they host a key Southland series with Oral Roberts coming to town. The teams will play Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m., then the series finale will be played at 1 on Sunday. Live video and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.